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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Big Island School / Hecla Island School No. 589 (Hecla Island, Hecla-Grindstone Provincial Park)

Link to:
Principals | Vice-Principals | Teachers | Photos & Coordinates | Sources

Known locally as the Hecla School, provincial education records record its name as Big Island School, probably to avoid confusion with Hecla School elsewhere in Manitoba. Situated on Hecla Island in Lake Winnipeg, the district was established formally in May 1889. It was dissolved in 1967 and the catchment area became part of the Evergreen School Division. The school closed in June 1970. The former two-room schoolhouse still stands at the site which is now part of the Hecla-Grindstone Provincial Park.





Ernest Lorne Moffat (1899-1982)


Mrs. M. Magnusson


W. H. Kentz




Norman J. Jonsson


Ernest Lorne Moffat (1899-1982)


Benjamin Franklin Olson (1898-1981)


Johann E. Paulson


G. Jones


Ernest Lorne Moffat (1899-1982)


Among the other teachers of Hecla Island School were Thorfinnur Thorsteinsson (1885), Johann Solmundsson (1885), Jon Runolfsson (1890), Jona Sigurdson (1910), Lara Eyfjord (1918), Asta Jonasson (1919), Guony Jonasson (1919), Kristin Stefanson (1920), Ljotunn Thorsteinson, Stella Stefanson, Jon Gillis, Ingibjorg Sigurgeirson Jonsson, Lenore Denby, Sadie Armstrong, Mabel Rognvaldson Doll, Guony (Gwen) Solmundson Jonsson, Laura Fraser, Leila Fraser, Lillian Campbell, Frances Campbell, James Taylor, Christine Tomasson Jefferson, Magnusina (Marge) Jones, Louise Stefanson Jones, Hrund Skulason, Skuli Bodvarson, Edythe Whitfield, Mabel Gossen, Mildred Gossen, Freda Thordarson, Frank Rhome, Lawrence Johnson, Jonas Einarson, Bill Williams, Doris (Sudbury) Tomasson, Wilfrid Laurier “Laurie” Tomasson, Gordon Bardarson, Jean Taylor Thordarson, Johann Palson, Irene Eggertson Thorarinson, Jonina Stefanson Benson, William (Bill) Moffet, Thorbergur (Buddy) Jones, Kenneth Halldorson, and Walter Krivda (1950s).

Photos & Coordinates

Students at Hecla Island School

Students at Hecla Island School (no date) by H. D. Cumming
Source: Archives of Manitoba, School Inspectors Photographs,
GR8461, A0233, C131-1, page 92.

The former Hecla Island School building

The former Hecla Island School building (August 2009)
Source: Rose Kuzina

The former Hecla Island School building

The former Hecla Island School building (October 2015)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N51.13315, W96.66533
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Hecla School No. 355 (RM of Argyle)


School District Formation Files [Big Island School District No. 589], GR1688, E0027, Archives of Manitoba.

Annual Reports of the Manitoba Department of Education, Manitoba Legislative Library.

One Hundred Years in the History of the Rural Schools of Manitoba: Their Formation, Reorganization and Dissolution (1871-1971) by Mary B. Perfect, MEd thesis, University of Manitoba, April 1978.

Mikley: The Magnificent Island: Treasure of Memories: Hecla Island, 1876-1976 by Ingibjorg Sigurgeirsson McKillop, 1979.

We thank Nathan Kramer and Rose Kuzina for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 29 March 2022

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